Garden of Beauty: Maggie McAllister
The final Sage and Snow Garden of Beauty Award for the summer rightly goes to longtime gardener, Maggie McAllister. Maggie developed the Painted Sage Farm in 2006 to grow market meat and vegetables. Her two large hoop houses were some of the first in Sublette County, and she was known throughout Wyoming for her innovative and productive gardening practices. Now, 16 years later, the farm has downsized and moved into Pinedale at 15 Lake Road. Here, Maggie maintains her Painted Sage Farmstand to market Palisade peaches, Olathe corn, vegetable seedlings, Paonia soil mixes, baked goods and fresh vegetables from her garden. Her blog, ‘Growing For Community,’ has a large following of online subscribers where she offers classes and gardening discussions. Her gardens include a large hoop house, raised beds, in-ground beds, and lick tubs where she grows potatoes, cucumbers, squash, peppers, eggplants, tomatoes, bush beans, peas, garlic, onions, Asian greens, salad greens, all dotted with gem marigolds and herbs. Maggie is a permaculture advocate and her goal is to create a ‘Food Forest’ with perennial crops, including raspberries, strawberries, currants, horseradish, asparagus, herbs and pollinator-friendly flowers. She has an extensive drip irrigation system to water plants and an active biochar and composting operation to enrich and maintain her native soils. Maggie has not only focused on growing food for herself and others, she recruits interns to help on her farm and learn the skills to garden on their own in our unique growing environment. She has also been a long-term advocate and participant for the Pinedale Farmers’ Market. Maggie is so deserving of this honor for her dedication to gardening and for teaching others to grow food for themselves.